A Pleasant Stay in Hatta, United Arab Emirates

Panoramic View of Resort and Hatta City

During our Fall Break trip to the UAE, we spent two nights in the Dubai exclave of Hatta, a small town of 12,000 people high up in the Hajar (Rocky in English) Mountains. It is an “exclave” because it belongs to the Emirate of Dubai, but it is enclosed by two other Emirates on two sides and on the other two sides by the country of Oman. Hatta was once part of Oman but the ownership was transferred to Dubai in 1850 because the Sultan of Oman at the time, could not defend the region against a rival group in Oman. 

Dad and Oliver Exploring Hatta

Today it is a vacation destination for expatriates and Emiratis because of the elevation it is less humid and cooler than Dubai. We drove our rental car the 83 miles (134 kilometers) from Dubia to the Ja Hatta Fort Resort. The resort is located just outside of town and was quite nice. We enjoyed the pools and played tennis as well as having some good meals in the restaurant. It was quite relaxing and we could have stayed a few extra days. It reminded me of what I think Palm Springs would be like, a nice town in a desert setting. If I lived in Dubai, I would go out there often.

On the second night, Oliver and I drove through the town and checked out the Hatta Dam, one of the major attractions of the area. They were well set up for kayaking/pedal boating, and as you can see in the video above, I went for a paddle around the reservoir the next morning before we headed back to the airport.

The Dubai government is investing in the town and there were some good roads and parks. The is also a network of hiking trails along creeks and in the canyons but we didn’t have enough time to explore them. Oliver and I did take in the views from a historic fort. Driving through the town, there was not much going on with groups of men sitting in front of storefronts or women sweeping the front sidewalks. 

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